i’m not going to pout …

triggered. and i know there’s an old-timer out there who’s going to give me an ear-full. and i’m ready for it. really, i am.

i have a friend who’s been a big drinker. drink till it’s all gone, mix in some drugs, take some sleeping pills. that kind of drinker.

He’s been sober for several months, white-knuckling it, self-medicating with all that is not alcohol. but he’s being doing a damn good job of being sober, which was his first and primary goal.

he’s just recently started drinking again, albeit “controlled” amounts of “beer only” and “not to get drunk” etc.

Now, this is making me irritated … and it’s hard for me to articulate why.

[here’s where the old-timer chimes in and says, very sternly, “Belle, look away. Not your business. Not your shit.”]

the friend keeps asking for advice. i’ve offered some bits before, months ago, but recently i’ve stopped most communication.

So my absence to him means that i’m “still drinking” …

the irritated me would like to fire off a missive filled with advice on what i think he should do or try, like the Jason Vale book, or hanging out with you folks, or even trying AA … but i know it would fall on deaf ears.

I’d also like to chime in with “i’m NOT still drinking, i’m in fact 37 days sober and doing quite well, thanks for never asking, never following up, on how i was doing.”

i am not going to email him, and i’m going to leave it alone.  i’m not going to say or do anything, and i’m going to look away. i’m not going to pout and say “i’m quiet because i’m sober, not because i’m drinking.”  and i’m NOT offering this particular friend any advice. He won’t take it anyway, and when asking for advice i think maybe it’s just to hear himself talk …

So here’s my question “old-timers” … is there a sobriety rule about hanging out with people who are trying to quit and who aren’t managing to do it very well? I know i’m supposed to take care of me FIRST. but is there any duty to help, offer a hand, listen to the particular ongoing saga? where’s the line between being supportive, kind and helpful, and being irritated as shit?

Belle

I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I’m tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

5 thoughts to “i’m not going to pout …”

  1. As a rule, I am always willing to lend a hand, providing they truly want to stay sober. However, I can’t communicate with them if they are actively drinking in general or are currently drunk. Under those conditions, you are in no way on the same page and anything you say to him will be filtered through his booze haze. Even ‘controlled drinking’ is an altered state of mind.

  2. “So here’s my question “old-timers” … is there a sobriety rule about hanging out with people who are trying to quit and who aren’t managing to do it very well? I know i’m supposed to take care of me FIRST. but is there any duty to help, offer a hand, listen to the particular ongoing saga? where’s the line between being supportive, kind and helpful, and being irritated as shit?”

    I dont consider myself an old timer so I dont know. I do think people who really want to quit go out there and seek help of sorts whether its blogging or AA or whatever. I am not sure anyone but yourself can get you to that point. I haven’t had to deal with this yet, but I would say until he is serious about his issues, he’s not worth spending too much of your precious energy on.

  3. Seven days does not an old timer make, but my two pence worth agrees with Kristin. Set up some boundaries for yourself as to when/if you see him/chat/email. If he’s a good mate then he’s definitely worth helping. If you catch him at the right sober moment, something you say or do might give him that A-HAA moment where things just click into place, although ultimately the desire to change has to come from within him. If nothing else, i’d post a copy of JVale to him, with a little note saying how you found Vale’s ideas re booze interesting and thought he might too. Don’t underestimate what you have to give and how much you help everyone who reads your blog, i think your pal could benefit from your wisdom, too.
    Tricky situation, it sounds like a complex friendship anyway, having booze in the mix makes it that much more complicated. Good luck whatever you decide to do, just make sure your keep yourself and your sobriety safe xx

  4. Thanks everyone. I sent a short but kind email suggesting the Jason Vale book and that he speak again with his doctor about some helpful medications. I know he’s struggling. And I like Cleo’s idea: “people who really want to quit go out there and seek help of sorts…” I just don’t want to be one of his only sources of help, esp. since he’s not doing well …

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